May 27, 2007 by

Diego Corrales


Categories: Sports

dcorrales.jpgDiego “Chico” Corrales, a world champion boxer, died on May 7 in a motorcycle crash. He was 29.
Born in Columbia, S.C., and raised in Sacramento, Calif., Corrales was only 3 years old when he began visiting a boxing gym with his stepfather, Ray Woods. He earned a chef’s degree at a culinary trade school; however, boxing was his true calling.
Corrales stood 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall, and fought most of his career at 130 pounds. He turned pro in 1996 and had a professional record of 40-5-0, with 33 wins coming by way of knockout. Corrales’ style was simple: punch big, hard and fast. A fan favorite, he was utterly fearless in the ring, and willing to fight all comers.
Corrales won the IBF super featherweight title in the 7th round by knocking out Roberto Garcia in 1999. He held onto the world title until Floyd Mayweather Jr. handed him his first defeat. In their 2001 match-up, Mayweather knocked Corrales down five times and stopped him in the 10th round. Four months after the loss, Corrales was sentenced to two years in prison on a domestic abuse charge for beating his pregnant wife, Maria. She later divorced him.
After a year-long stint in prison, Corrales was released for good behavior. He resumed his career and went on to win the vacant WBO junior lightweight title in March 2004. Five months later, he moved up to lightweight rank and won that WBO belt after stopping Acelino “Popo” Freitas in the 10th round.
Corrales was best known for getting up after two 10th-round knockdowns to stop Jose Luis Castillo on May 7, 2005. His dramatic KO of Castillo led the Boxing Writers Association of America to call the slugfest the “fight of the year.” Corrales was knocked out by Castillo in the rematch, then had three straight fights undermined at the weigh-in. Last October, he moved up two weight classes to fight Joshua Clottey in Springfield, Mo. Corrales was knocked down in the 9th and 10th rounds and lost by a unanimous decision. Although he was still in training, his career never recovered.
In July 2006, Corrales’ vehicle and motorcycle licenses were revoked for a drunken driving conviction of an Oct. 2005 arrest. He also faced arrest stemming from a failure to appear in January on a 2006 DUI charge. Corrales married a second time, but was estranged from his pregnant wife, Michelle, at the time of his death.
Exactly two years after his most famous bout, Corrales was riding a 2007 Suzuki 1000 motorcycle at a high speed when he tried to pass a northbound 1997 Honda Accord on a busy residential street west of the Las Vegas Strip. To avoid an oncoming Mercedes, he got back in the northbound lane and slammed into the Honda’s trunk. Corrales, who was wearing a helmet and riding without a license, was thrown from the bike and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver of the Mercedes escaped injury; the driver of the Honda suffered a minor shoulder injury.
Corrales listed “God” as his hero on his MySpace page. He enjoyed riding bikes, watching gangster movies, skiing and playing golf in his spare time. He is survived by his five children. A sixth child is due in July.
“He fought recklessly and he lived recklessly. That was his style,” Corrales’ promoter, Gary Shaw, said.
Listen to a Interview With Corrales
Watch Video From the Corrales vs. Castillo I Bout

15 Responses to Diego Corrales

  1. SMF

    I would like to thank Jade Walker for making this blog. I appreciate the gesture.
    Diego Corrales will be missed.
    His death was felt around the world by boxing fans.
    My condolences to his family and his friends.
    May his fighting spirit be kept alive, always.
    Rest In Peace Chico.

  2. Tito

    Diego Corrales was a warrior and a great man..
    Will be greatly missed..
    He was never and will never be short of fans.
    A fighters fighter
    Thanks for making the blog..
    Much love

  3. steve-O

    Diego “chico” Corrales they’re’s so much to say! great man
    he will be sorely missed in the world of boxing goodbye chico and god willin your up there doing what you do best and that’s boxing!! luv ya man

  4. John Jimenez

    Diego Corrales was fierce competitor and a great fighter and will missed. I loved watching him…God Bless his family and comfort them during these trying times and the cherished memory of the love lost…

  5. Pam Petersen

    I have lost two children a 18 yr old daughter to a drunk driver and a 22 yr old son to someone being stupid. I have watched alot of boxing over the years, even as a kid and did kickboxing at age 40, but there is something about some people that you can’t explain that you feel a close bond to and Diego Chico Corrales was one of those people. I really cried when I heard the new of Chico and I can’t explain why he felt so close to me. I will greatly miss him and my heart felt sympathy goes to his wife and children. He will be forever loved and missed.

  6. Blutto

    This guy was nothing but a thug who drove drunk, flaunted the law, and beat up women. So what if he could fight. What good did he do in the world while he was here? None. He would have continued to screw up and be a waste, so good riddance to him before he killed someone.

  7. Tristan Abesamis

    chico, i will miss watching you fight, your camouflage represent your toughness and blood of a real fighter. god bless you chico.

  8. Jonathan Musere

    This Dominican-Mexican-American had the heart of a lion, and the skills of a leopard. Diego Corrales fiercly fought in the ring to the bitter end; and even when badly injured, face bloody and eyes closing, and after having been knocked down he would still fight hard and endeover to win; he was scary, yet still very poised! But in the last two years of his career, he was getting beaten, despite his signature courage and fearlessness. Perhaps the problems with the law (e.g., drunken driving and domestic violence), the jail-time and the accumulation of boxing blows onto his body had taken a heavy toll on him. He was a wreckless thrill seeker who had previously lived a life of gangsterism. Perhaps Corrales accidental demise by way of speeding on a motor cycle in Las Vegas, at age 29, was predictible! This was indeed a notable warrior of sorts!

  9. rick holloway

    I saw you fight in some of the baddest wars that I had ever seen. You truly will be remembered as one of the greatest warriors of all time!

  10. gil

    this day i open the site,to see the fight of diego corrales one of my idol in boxing,but im shock! his dead’ i thought he’s still alive . surely will missed you diego! warrior of the boxing ring! god bless.

  11. Paul Newman

    Diego Corrales, you will truly be missed. He made mistakes, all of us do, but no one deserves to go so young. I remember after his amazing win over Castillo in their first bout, he used his time in the post fight interview to urge everyone watching to support cancer research. I have never seen a fighter do such an unselfish thing. In his moment of glory, instead of celebrating or talking about himself, he used the time to focus on helping others. RIP chico

  12. A real fan and FRIEND

    Diego was a favorite fighter of mine. I grew up watching Hagler/Hearns, Sugar Ray and all of them. I am a Hearns fan, and I saw that same(I can beat him if I can catch him) fight in Diego. He brought greatness into to ring. I wish he would have kept his right up…..GOD BLESS Diego.
    Any family…email me at

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